The American Council of Life Insurers has teamed with 2 other major financial services trade associations to ask the incoming 110th Congress to adopt comprehensive optional federal charter legislation.

Frank Keating, president of the ACLI, Washington, today issued a statement supporting the OFC approach together with Edward Yingling, president of the American Bankers Association, Washington, and Marc Racicot, president of the American Insurance Association, Washington, a property-casualty group.

The ACLI, the AIA and the ABA have been lobbying together for an OFC system through the Optional Federal Charter Coalition.

An OFC system would give insurers and insurance agents a choice between oversight by state insurance regulators or by a new federal insurance regulatory agency.

Keating, Yingling and Racicot refer in their letter to a recent speech in which U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson complains that the product of the U.S. insurance regulatory structure is “an ever-expanding rulebook in which multiple regulators impose rule upon rule upon rule.”

“Insurance regulatory reform is integral to maintaining America’s leading role in the international financial services marketplace,” the authors write. “The current antiquated, state-by-state regulatory system reduces U.S. competitiveness in the global insurance arena.”

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who is set to become chairman of the House Financial Services Committee in the new Congress, said this week that he would support creating an OFC system for life insurers but is skeptical about the idea of creating such a system for property-casualty insurers.

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., who is likely to be the new chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has not given a clear statement about what he thinks about the OFC proposal.